John Donald "Don" Judd, 85, of Rochester, died Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014, at Mayo Clinic Hospital-Saint Marys of heart failure.
Don was born March 15, 1928, to John and Genevieve (Connelly) Judd. Don graduated from Chatfield High School in 1946. He enjoyed athletics and played football on the great 1945 Chatfield team which ended the year with a perfect record of being unbeaten, untied, and unscored upon. This was the first time such a record had been established. He earned All-Conference in football and basketball, and also played on the All-Conference baseball team.
Don attended Winona State College to earn his teaching degree in history. He graduated in 1950. He then served in the Korean War
from 1950-1952 with an honorable discharge. On Sept. 20, 1951, he married the love of his life, Arlene Jacobson, in the chapel at Fort Riley, Kan. They have been married for 62 years. He began teaching in Minneota in 1953 and was a successful football coach, winning seven conference championships. During this time, he also had an article published in the prestigious Athletic Journal, a national coaching magazine. In 1962, he and his family moved to Farmington, where he taught, coached and was athletic director for four years. In 1966, he began work in the Human Resources field. He worked at Frederick Willys Company in Farmington and later for Merrillat Company in Lakeville. He retired in 1993.
During his 47 years in Farmington, he served on the Empire Township planning commission, helped to organize the Youth Center and was president the first year. He volunteered at St. Michael's Church and Dakota City, a historic village of the early 1900s. His favorite guests were always the young kids that visited as he never knew what questions they would have.
He enjoyed sports, golfing, being with his children, their spouses and his two very special grandsons. He was an avid bridge player and enjoyed socializing with his friends. He also got great pleasure out of socializing with his Thursday morning coffee group. Don and Arlene spent a few winters in Yuma, Ariz. We will miss his great stories, questionable sense of humor and his smile more than anything.
Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Arlene; one son, Charles Judd of Edina; daughters, Julie (Guy) Jackson of Winona and Kathy (Pat) Berry of Anchorage, Alaska; two grandsons, Joshua Berry of Oslo, Norway and Brennan Berry of Anchorage; and three sisters-in-law, Marjorie Judd of Chatfield, Peroline Ackerman of Henderson, Nev., and Doris Bothun of Babbitt. Don is also survived by many nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents, brothers, Paul, Jim and Max, and brother-in-law, Elroy Bothun.
A Mass of Christian Burial is being planned for March at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Chatfield. Burial will take place at Calvary Cemetery, also in Chatfield.
"We loved him so much and will always miss him."
Riley Funeral Home in Chatfield is assisting the family with arrangements. 507-867-4310. rileyfuneralhomes.com